Yes, NFL football is finally here! OK, not really. It is just the preseason. Which basically means four weeks of scrimmages for teams to evaluate what players learned in training camp and how they apply it in a game setting to narrow down their roster and select starters. You will not see the starters making the big hits that you will see during the regular season in fear of injuries before the season starts. However, after six long months of not watching one down of football, just seeing the teams in full uniforms on the field creates some excitement for football fans.
Winning in the preseason does not necessarily indicate what a team will do in a real game. Just look at the Detroit Lions who went undefeated during the 2008 preseason, but ended the regular season 0 – 16. Nevertheless, it does provide a glimpse of what your team is capable of doing, where the weaknesses are, and most importantly gives you an opportunity to see players in action before drafting players for your fantasy football team.
After the first full weekend of preseason games, I was most impressed with the depth at quarterback for the Pittsburgh Steelers. Pittsburgh is going to be without Big Roethlisberger for the first part of the regular season. Since he was slapped with his suspension, everyone has wondered who would take the snaps at the beginning of the season. While it appears as if Byron Leftwich would get the starting job, he struggled over the weekend against Detroit. But, no worries for Steeler Nation because Dennis Dixon stepped in and completed 6 of 7 passes and led the offense to three touchdowns after starting deep in their own territory. They were playing the Lions and it is the preseason, so Steelers fans do not need to book flights Dallas (host for Super Bowl 2011), but they should feel comfortable with whoever Head Coach Mike Tomlin has fill in for Big Ben for a few weeks.
Tonight the New York teams (Giants and Jets) will faceoff in the New Meadowlands Stadium at 8 p.m. I selected the New York Jets to win it all this year. Watching them return their starters and add veterans like LaDainian Tomlinson (running back) and Antonio Cromartie (cornerback) to their roster, I believe that they will get past the Indianapolis Colts this year, represent the AFC in the Super Bowl and take home the Lombardi Trophy. Now the preseason has started and their star cornerback, Darrelle Revis, does not have a contract and has not been to training camp. Jets fans should not worry, but tonight will show how strong the defense is without Revis. Watch the game on ESPN.
OK, it’s time to get ready for the Heels & Helmets Fantasy Football League Draft on September 6 online at noon! Go back and review the responsibilities of the positions on offense, defense, and special teams and catch a couple of preseason games to examine the players. This will be your team! You’re the boss. Who will you pick?
Heels & Helmets